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Catan: 5-6 Player Extension» Forums » Variants

Subject: Catan Intermediate-Size Island Variant rss

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Stephen Brinich
United States
Springfield
Virginia
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Our group dislikes four-player Settlers because the board is a bit tight. We could cheat and play on the 5-6 player expansion setup, but that errs too far in the other direction. After a bit of fiddling, I came up with these rules for setting up an intermediate-size island, suitable for a "looser" 4-player game (or a "tighter" 5-player game):

Requires: Settlers of Catan with 5-6 Player Expansion

Use:
* 5 Forest (wood) hexes
* 5 Fields (grain) hexes
* 4 Pasture (sheep) hexes
* 4 Hills (brick) hexes
* 4 Mountains (ore) hexes
* 1 Desert hex
* 5 3:1 ports
* 5 2:1 ports, one of each resource type
* 5-6 Player Expansion number tokens
** Remove tokens I(11), M(8), W(5), X(9), Za(3), Zc(6)

Shuffle and set up the 23 land hexes in columns of 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, & 2:

*
* *
* * *
* * * *
* * *
* * * *
* * *
* *
*


Shuffle and set up the 10 ports, starting at one of the corner hexes.

Place the number tokens (after removing the six listed above from the sequence), starting at one of the corner hexes.

The number token sequence includes two of each number, except for 4 & 10 (three each of those). According to the diagrams I've worked up, this sequence should never create a 6-8 collision, and will only about a quarter of the time (if the desert is in the last half-dozen hexes of the inward spiral sequence) create a vertex where all three hexes are above-average (5-6-8-9) numbers. If I fluffed that, let me know.

EDIT: I did a more thorough check, going through all possible positions of the desert and both distinct number token layouts (i.e. either starting on a "long" 4-hex edge or starting along a "short" 2-hex edge). I confirmed for sure that there are no possible 6-8 collisions. There is a single 5-8-9 vertex created (in either case) if the desert is in either the first six or last six tiles (counting along the inward spiraling path of the number tokens), which means it would happen just over half (12/23) of the time. I think that's an adequately good number distribution.



 
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Stephen Brinich
United States
Springfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
Fiddling with the concept some more, I came up with another variation:

Requires: Settlers of Catan with 5-6 Player Expansion

Use:
* 5 Forest (wood) hexes
* 5 Fields (grain) hexes
* 5 Pasture (sheep) hexes
* 4 Hills (brick) hexes
* 4 Mountains (ore) hexes
* 1 Desert hex
* 5 3:1 ports
* 5 2:1 ports, one of each resource type
* 5-6 Player Expansion number tokens
** Remove tokens I(11), M(8), W(5), X(9), Zc(6)

(i.e. similar to the previous, except with 1 more Pasture hex and the Za(3) number token left in)

Shuffle and set up the 23 land hexes in columns of 4, 5, 6, 5, & 4:

*
* *
* * *
* *
* * *
* *
* * *
* *
* * *
* *
*


Shuffle and set up the 10 ports, starting at one of the corner hexes.

Place the number tokens (after removing the six listed above from the sequence), starting at one of the corner hexes.

The number token sequence in this case is slightly asymmetrical (in includes an extra 3 compared to the previous one).

After checking all possible cases of desert position and starting corner (each shape has two distinct types of starting corners, depending on whether the number token sequence starts on a "long" or "short" side), I've verified that 6-8 collisions won't happen and that at most one vertex will have all above-average (5-6-8-9) numbers.

(It turns out that, for both island configuations and for any starting corner, there will be one 5-8-9 vertex if the desert is one of the first six or one of the last six hexes, as counted on the inward-spiral sequence of number token layout. Thus, it will happen just over half the time (12/23) for the configuration in the first post and exactly half the time (12/24) for the configuration in this post.)
 
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